Date: December 07, 2012
Author: Golf Australia

Globe-trotting Fraser grabs Open lead

A solid round at The Lakes Golf Club has seen Victorian Marcus Fraser claim the lead at the halfway mark of the Emirates Australian Open. Playing in the benign morning conditions, Fraser added a second score of 3-under 69 to his first round total to top the leaderboard at 6-under the card. He leads by a shot from first round leader John Senden and New South Welshman Brendan Jones. A further shot back is 28-year-old South Australian Nick Cullen, who recorded his first professional win earlier in 2012 at OneAsia s Indonesian Open. It was a steady round today for Fraser who has had a busy schedule leading into the Emirates Australian Open, including an abbreviated trip to PGA TOUR Qualifying School. It has been pretty full-on for the past couple of months, this is my seventh week in a row and I still have one more to go next week, said Fraser. I was in America last week for the Tour school and it did not work out the way I would have liked. I pulled the pin early and got back into Melbourne on Monday morning to give myself an extra couple of days to get ready for this week. Despite experiencing a potentially career ending neck injury in 2010 that was exacerbated by a busy schedule, Fraser still made the journey home to Australia for the Emirates Australian Open. Two years ago I did eight in a row and had a neck operation in January after it. If I had not had the operation, there is no way I would have played again. No chance at all. I did not learn my lesson but it s the Aussie Open and the pick of the bunch of the eight weeks for me. As the tournament leader Fraser will now try to manage his expectations heading into the weekend. I have to try and stick to the routines I have been doing for the past six or seven weeks, I feel I have been playing well. I will feel some nerves tomorrow teeing it up but hopefully I ll get stuck into it on the weekend. It’s tricky but it s why we practise so we can contend in tournaments like the Australian Open. Brendan Jones, who is a 12 time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, is enjoying being back on the PGA Tour of Australasia. I m normally in Japan at this time of the year, it s worked out well that I m back here playing this week. Hopefully I can show my friends and family that just because I play well in Japan doesn’t mean I don t play well anywhere else, said Jones. I m making enough birdies. I left a few out there but it s nice to be at the top of the leaderboard. The second round cut was made at 4-over the card with 68 Professionals making it through to the weekend rounds. They will be joined by just one amateur, Cameron Smith. Fans will be happy to see eight time Major champion Tom Watson at The Lakes for the next two days after he rallied to shoot 4-under finishing at 2-over after two rounds. The biggest names to fall victim to the cut were Robert Allenby (6-over), Steven Bowditch (9-over) and New Zealand s Mark Brown (10-over). The third round will tee off at 7.07am AEDST with the leaders on course at 12.40pm.